Anvay Tewari

Friends of Daria Rose LAW ’22 say that she is the same person no matter what room she walks into, be it at Yale Law School or the Bachelor Mansion. 

The 24-year-old whose appearance on the 26th season of the Bachelor aired in January, spoke to the News about her background in law, her time at Yale and what it has meant for her to take the national stage as a Yale Law student. 

“When I was young, I didn’t know anyone who went to Harvard or went to Yale Law School,” Rose said. “Those were not even real places, especially as a young Black girl. I thought to myself, if I can go on TV and a young girl could see me and say, ‘That’s something I want to do and that dream is attainable,’ I was like, ‘Why not?’”

Rose grew up on Long Island, NY, where she lost her home to Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It was this experience, she said, that drew her to housing initiatives when she reached Harvard, where she spent her undergraduate years. While in Cambridge, Rose worked on the Small Claims Advisory Series to help low-income Massachusetts residents through conflicts with their landlords and tenants. 

Her work with this organization, along with her time on the board of the Harvard Black Law Association, that established her interest in studying law. 

“Seeing how law had the ability to impact people’s lives in such a monumental way really confirmed for me that I wanted to go to law school,” Rose said. “I was like, ‘Yes, this is the path for me.’”

Although Rose feels that Harvard was the right place for her as an undergraduate, she had her eye on Yale from the beginning. In high school, Rose applied to Yale early action, a decision she credits to an abiding love of Gossip Girl — “the books, not the show.” Rose was accepted to Yale and attended Bulldog Days her senior year. In the end, she chose Harvard, seeking the independence that came with moving further from her home in New York. 

But when the time came to apply for law schools, Rose again thought of Yale. She was first accepted to Harvard and Stanford Law, but waited for word from Yale before deciding where to attend. 

“I was like, ‘I guess I’m not going to get into Yale,’” Rose said. “I hadn’t heard from them. And a month later, Yale was the last law school that I got into, and I was like, ‘I’m 100 percent going to go because it’s been my dream to go to Yale this whole time. I’m finally fulfilling that dream.’” 

At Yale, Rose’s friend Isabella Forero LAW ’23 said that she is “involved in all the most prestigious things.”

She served on the board of the Black Law Students association and is involved with the Yale Law Journal, the Federalist Society and the Temporary Restraining Order Project, which helps survivors of domestic violence file restraining orders against their abusers. Alongside professor James Forman Jr., she helped to launch the Law School Access Program, which provides New Haven residents interested in attending law school with resources and guidance. 

On TikTok, where she has almost 40,000 followers, Rose documents her life at the law school. She has posted advice on studying for the LSAT, day-in-the-life vlogs and, most recently, a video recounting her first day of in-person instruction as a teaching fellow for Professor Akhil Amar’s constitutional law course.  

Forero pointed to Rose’s TikTok as an example of the levity that she brings to the law school, a welcome addition to an environment that Forero said is “still dominated by male voices.” 

“At this school, it’s easy to fall into a trap of being super competitive for who can have the most serious intellect,” Forero said. “She’s involved in all kinds of organizations, so there’s no question as to whether or not she’s capable. But then in addition to those things, she’s not afraid to be vulnerable, put herself out there, put herself on a show, put herself on TikTok and show fun sides of herself. I think it adds a lot to the Law School community and kind of encourages us to be a little more lighthearted.”

Rose feels that platforms like TikTok and the Bachelor have the ability to make law school appear accessible, especially to those who might not see themselves as the typical demographic for a career in law. 

3.8 million people watched this season’s premiere of the Bachelor, and Rose said that when she decided to appear on the show, it was with this audience in mind. 

Rose was never an avid Bachelor viewer and never considered applying, but she said that when Bachelor producers recruited her via Instagram in August 2021, the opportunity “fell into her lap.” By early September, she received an offer to be on the show. 

By going on the show, Rose said, she could show that being a law student and being “fun and funny” were not mutually exclusive — a message she especially hoped reached Black women and girls. 

“It’s a silly dating show that a lot of Ivy League people don’t take seriously,” Rose said. “The part I did find serious is the fact that it is on ABC and it is a big platform. You can show representation and you can get a different perspective.” 

After she was confirmed as a contestant, Rose had a conversation with her friend Bri Springs — who made it to the semifinal week of the 25th season of the Bachelor in 2020 — about what the show looked like from the inside and whether she actually wanted to be a part of it.

The other conversations Rose needed to have were with her parents and her professors at the law school. Rose was already a few weeks into the semester and invested in her classes when she learned that she would be leaving to go on the show.

As is the nature of the show, Rose did not know how much time she would need to take away from school — those who make it to the final round of the Bachelor or the Bachelorette are away for as many as six to nine weeks, and their communication with the outside world is largely restricted during that time. But everyone she told at the law school was “incredibly supportive” of her decision, Rose said. 

Although Rose was contractually limited from telling many people about her decision to go on the show until ABC announced her casting, her close friends began catching on beforehand. Ferero noticed something unusual when Rose suddenly stopped texting her back, and Eriele Tellis LAW ’23’s suspicions were piqued when Rose came into class with a bag of dresses that she needed to take to New York City to be altered. 

Out of anyone in their class at the law school, Rose joked, most of her classmates would say that she was the likeliest to appear on the Bachelor. Although her friends concurred, they said that watching her on the show was still surreal.

“I just watched with a friend, and I was so excited to see her,” Forero said. “It’s always weird seeing somebody that you know on TV. I was surprised how much airtime she got in the first episode, but I was so happy for it. I was like, ‘Are they doing this just for me? Because this is the only person I wanted to see and I’m getting a lot.’”

Because of COVID-19 protocols, Rose explained, many of her lectures were recorded, so she was able to catch up on the class time she missed while filming in California. Had she found a connection with Clayton Echard, the 28-year-old who is this season’s bachelor, Rose said she would have considered taking the rest of the semester off to finish out the season. 

But it was not to be. Rose was sent home after one episode, among the nine women cut from the show in the season’s first Rose Ceremony. In the end, she said, she was grateful for the opportunity to return to Yale early. 

“I was able to go back to school and pick up my studies,” Rose said. “The administration was very supportive and accommodating about that. That’s one thing that I love about Yale Law School and why I picked this school is just because it’s sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure. Right now, during my 3L I had decided that that’s kind of the adventure I wanted to supplement my studies.”

Reflecting on her time on the show, Rose emphasized the strength of the community she had found, among both the other women she met on the show, and the people that have reached out to her since her episode aired. 

“I also have found increased love for my parents, who have really encouraged me through this journey and just had my back,” Rose said. “It’s not an easy process at all. I know it looks so fun and glam on TV, but it’s real stuff, and it can get heavy.” 

Since her episode aired, she said, she had received “horrible, racial” messages from members of the Bachelor fanbase. 

The Bachelor franchise has seen a public reckoning surrounding race in the past year. The first season to star a Black bachelor — Matt James — aired in 2020 and ended in controversy after photos emerged of white season winner Rachael Kirkconnell at an “Antebellum themed” party two years prior. Longtime host Chris Harrison publicly defended Kirkconnell, sparking widespread criticism that culminated in his resignation

Although Harrison has since been replaced, problems persist for the franchise, which has been roundly criticized for a lack of diversity among its cast. Other than James, Black bachelorettes Rachael Lindsay and Tayshia Adams and the Venezualan-American Juan Pablo Galavis, the show’s leads have been entirely white in its 20-year history. As of 2016, 59 percent of Black contestants leave within the first two weeks of a typical season.

“The franchise has gone through a growing period and a lot of growing pains with the introduction of a new host and them trying to revamp their image,” Rose said. “I guess what I will say is that they have a very, very long way to go in terms of equitable treatment and representation and biases that occur both within the broader production and institution of the Bachelor franchise and within their fan base.”  

ABC Press did not respond to requests for comment. 

Even as Rose continues to feel the effects of her time on the Bachelor, her friends are unconcerned about her stint on the show having a negative effect on her career in law. 

“She’s overly competent and qualified for all of the jobs that she’s applying for, and I already feel like she’s going to end up in some really, really unique, awesome career,” Forero said. “That might not even be the typical law firm partner — I think she’ll do something special. And so I think, because of that, something like the Bachelor would never hurt her.” 

Tellis agreed, adding that she rejected the idea that traditionally feminine interests should be perceived as risks to a legitimate career, comparing critics of Rose’s decision to go on the Bachelor to the lawyers who have told her not to “look cute” for work if she wanted to be taken seriously. 

For Tellis, the significance of Rose’s appearance on the Bachelor is that it has the potential to redefine the popular perception of a law student. 

“If you think about someone who goes to Yale, the first thing you’re going to think of is probably a white man, probably in really preppy clothes,” Tellis said. “But going there as a Black woman shows that Black women go to Yale and also that Yale Law students aren’t this different breed of nerds who only do schoolwork in the library and take themselves too seriously and are too intellectual to participate in normal activities. She was able to speak to that— like, ‘Yeah, I go to Yale. And I’m also Daria.’” 

The first episode of Season 26 of the Bachelor, in which Rose appears, is available to stream online.

Lucy Hodgman is the editor-in-chief and president of the News. She previously covered student life and the Yale College Council. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, she is a junior in Grace Hopper majoring in English.